Race Day – Utah Valley Half Marathon.
Woke up around 4:00 am, had a little piece of toast with some honey on it with a glass of water. Really didn’t feel too hungry and not much of an appetite. Left the house around 5am and drove down the canyon to the start line. Arrived at the start about 5:20, did a nice warm up and then some stretching along with some strides then off to the start. Going into the race I wasn’t too sure how it was going to play out. I wasn’t too sure if I could go under the time bonus of 66 minutes. I had confidence in my training but wasn’t sure if it was enough. Always seconding guessing things. The night before, I ran into Seth Wold at the check-in and he gave me an update on who would be running the half marathon; it was a great field with some talented runners including team members from Utah Elite. I knew it would be a fast race after seeing the field that morning. I was thinking there at the start line, "just hang on and enjoy the ride." The weather was perfect, no wind, temps were in the high 40’s to low 50’s at the start. It felt like it was going to be a great day no matter the outcome.
We're off and away! For the first few miles I felt a little sluggish, somewhat tight, and couldn’t find a rhythm. The first couple miles were around 5:14 to 5:10, I thought to myself, "there is no way I am going under 66." There was a pack of about 4 or 5 of us for the first few miles: myself, Fritz, Kyle and Brandon. Kyle and Brandon were out front leading the pack and they looked great. At about mile 4 or 5 it was down to three of us. Kyle, Brandon and myself. Kyle put in a nice surge going down hill around mile 5 and I fell back a little bit and wasn’t sure if I could close the gap. I fell back about 20 yards or so then closed the gap around 6 miles. The legs and body finally started to feel smooth and I was locked into a rhythm. Kyle started to slip off the pace and Brandon started to put a gap on me. I finally closed the gap and was able to catch Brandon around mile 10, I think. (I am sorry I don’t have any splits my watch was not functioning or it was an operator error). I started to wonder if I was ever going to close the gap. Brandon looked great and was running smooth. I just had to stay positive and stay close. I just kept rolling along and getting closer and closer to the leader.
Finally, I was able to reel in Brandon around mile 10 and we ran together for some time. I felt pretty decent for where I was in the race so I decided to keep pushing the pace. Then around mile 11 I started to put a little gap between Brandon and myself. From that point on I hoped it was the right decision to pick it up. I knew for sure Brandon was not going too far and it would turn into a battle at the end. So I just keep pushing and didn’t look back until the race was over. I was more concerned about the time and wanted to make sure we were under 66 for the bonus. Finally I saw the finish line clock in sight , I was going to break 66! Wait, I am almost under 65! I was ecstatic when I heard the finally time of 1:05.2. I crossed the finish line and was so excited to be done and for the time and was also excited to see that Brandon went well under 66 also. Huge thanks to Brandon for pushing the pace and pulling me along, what a great runner, very talented. He ran a awesome race. Nice job to the Utah Elite athletes in that race also, they ran great. What a great day, new pr for me.
Thanks to all the volunteers. Thanks to 26.2 also. I also had a little extra motivation to run well today, my wonderful support group (my family) was there to cheer me on. They were at every mile yelling and encouraging myself and others to keep it up. It was also very inspirational to have my brother Stevie there, those who know him know why. I am very fortune to have such a supportive family and wife, I think Jenny stress a little more then I do on race day. Big thanks to my beautiful wife, she is so supportive and my
biggest fan. So thankful that my mom, sister, and her husband (and baby Aspen) also my sister-in-law were able to come down and support me, thanks guys you rock, thanks for all the